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Derecho Brings Widespread Wind Damage from Iowa to Chicago

Monday, a complex derecho thunderstorm with a few isolated tornadoes caused widespread wind damage to businesses across several states including Illinois and Iowa.  The storm traveled 710 miles and lasted at least 14 hours. Some areas of central Iowa reported derecho wind gusts of 90 mph similar to a category 1 hurricane.

Reported Wind Gusts from Monday’s Derecho:

  • Midway, IA: 112 mph
  • Le Grand, IA: 106 mph
  • Marshalltown: 99 mph
  • Chelsea, IA: 90 mph
  • Chicago, IL: 62 mph

Tornadoes were also confirmed along the storms’ path, including one that swirled near the shore of Lake Michigan in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood. Although never welcoming, tornadoes are very common in the Midwest but a derecho hasn’t hit the area in years. A derecho is a very different type of storm compared to a tornado.

So, what is a Derecho?

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a derecho is a widespread, long-lived wind storm that that is associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms. For the wind storm to qualify as a derecho, it must have at least 58 mph or greater winds along most of its length.

Derecho VS Tornadoes

  • Origins: A derecho happens with air convention before a storm energizes the falling air inside the system, creating a line of fast-moving downbursts that travel quickly across a region
  • Winds: Derecho winds are typically anywhere from 58 mph to a maximum of 100 mph but occur in one straight direction
  • Lifespan/Traveling Distance: A derecho could travel hundreds of miles
  • Area of Effect/Width of Derecho: A derecho storm width could be hundreds of miles wide
  • Origins: A tornado forms when uneven temperatures across a frontal boundary cause wind shear, strong winds moving in different directions. If conditions are right, the wind movement will become circular, drawing energy into the vortex and forming a tornado
  • Winds: Tornadoes winds are typically anywhere from 73 mph to 318 mph but occur in a circular direction
  • Lifespan/Traveling Distance: Typically, a tornado travels only a few miles
  • Area of Effect/Width of Tornado: A tornado width is usually only a few miles wide or smaller

The biggest similarity to a derecho and tornadoes is the type of damage and destruction it causes. A derecho and tornado both can cause major power outages, wind, water, and structural damage. If you have received damage from this storm, ServiceMaster DSI can help. ServiceMaster DSI has the capabilities to:

If your business is in need of our services, give us a call at 844-413-3130 or request service here.

About ServiceMaster DSI:

ServiceMaster DSI is an ownership/management group headquartered in Downers Grove, IL specializing in providing residential and commercial disaster restoration services through the ServiceMaster Restore and ServiceMaster Recovery Management (SRM) brands. Starting with its first ServiceMaster license in 1981, DSI Holdings has grown to be the premier ownership group within the ServiceMaster network, amassing 88 licenses within the United States and serving as the flagship SRM operator. Through these brands, DSI services clients in all 50 states, and its large loss team has provided commercial disaster restoration services in more than 20 countries around the world.

Helpful Articles and Resources:

Facts About Derechos

Thunderstorm Winds and Derechos

Midwest Derecho Leaves Destruction in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana; Killing 1; More Than 1 Million Still Without Power

EF-1 tornado confirmed in Rogers Park during derecho event, NWS says

Iowa storm updates: Latest info on cleanup, closures, power outages in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City areas